Brigadier General Robert E. Congdon|
Retired March 31, 1956. Died Jan. 26, 1981.
Robert Emmett Condon was born in Wilbarger County, Texas,
in 1896. He attended high school at Amarillo, Texas, the Catholic Academy at
Shawnee, Okla., and the Kansas City School of Law and Commerce.
Enlisting in the Army as a private, General Condon trained with the 35th
Division, and served two years with the American Expeditionary Forces in France,
advancing through the ranks to sergeant. He was commissioned a second lieutenant
in March 1918. Just prior to the end of World War I he was detailed as
administrative aide to the Armistice Commission and assigned as executive aide
to the special envoy of the United States and representative of President Wilson
on each of his visits to Europe. Following the Armistice General Condon was
detailed to set up the Paris Versailles Peace Conference organization for the
American peace delegation and then served as an executive secretary for the
conference. He accompanied President Wilson from Paris to England, Belgium,
Italy, and on the president's first return trip to the United States in February
1919. That November he was relieved from duty and commissioned a captain in the
Between the two world wars, General Condon served with government agencies and
commissions, private industry, and civil bodies, including the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce and International Chamber of Commerce, traveling in 26 countries of
Europe and Asia surveying and reporting on politico-economic subjects. He is a
past national president of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce; founder and past
president of the Young Men's Board of Trade of New York; founder of the Brooklyn
Junior Chamber of Commerce; and first chairman of the New York City Traffic
Commission. President Wilson appointed him executive director of the Federal
Commission; President Hoover appointed him a sub-chairman of the Airport Fact
Finding Commission; and President Roosevelt appointed him alternate chairman for
the Veteran's Review Board for New York.
General Condon served as an officer and director of a number of corporations,
including the Hofgaard-Remington Corporation; was an organization and public
relations counsel in New York City for a number of years; editor of "Expansion"
for two years; founder and editor of "The Sky-Line" for three years; and for six
years was with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and editorial
analyst for the 26 Bell publications.
One of the originators of the American Legion, General Condon served for several
years as a member of its National Executive Committee; was New York State
district commander; chairman of the 1937 American Legion National Convention
Committee; and American Legion commander in Peking, China, in 1920.
Commissioned a major in the Reserve in April 1942, General Condon was recalled
to active duty. That July he was graduated from the Air Intelligence School at
Harrisburg, Pa., sent overseas as combat intelligence officer of the 98th Bomb
Group in the Middle East Theater of Operations; and later went to the
Mediterranean Theater of operations. Returning to the Air Intelligence School in
March 1943, he became director of the Academic Planning Board and acting
executive officer. That September he was assigned to the First Air Force, and
the following March was named assistant chief of staff, intelligence, of the
First at Mitchel Field, N.Y., and in March 1946 of the Air Defense Command
there. He was relieved from active duty in October 1946 as a colonel.
Returning to New York City, General Condon later became president of the
National Economic Mobilization Council; organized and served as commander of the
XVI Air Service Command (Organized Reserve) at Slocum Air Force Base, N.Y.;
served two years as president of the First Air Force's Reserve Advisory Board;
two years as president of the Air Materiel Command's Air Reserve Advisory Board;
was a member of the National Councils of the Reserve Officers Association and
the Air Reserve Association; and national president of the Ninth Air Force World
War II Veterans Association. In February 1948 General Condon was promoted to the
rank of brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve.
Recalled to active duty on March 15, 1951, as a brigadier general, General
Condon was designated chief of the National Organizations Branch, Office of
Public Information, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In April 1952 he
became deputy for Reserve Affairs at Continental Air Command headquarters,
Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze
Star Medal, and Officer of the French Foreign Legion.